After he came out and performed beautifully in his debut with the Indiana Pacers, the team is planning to sit Andrew Bynum on Friday night as they take on the Philadelphia 76ers, per the team’s Twitter account. The decision comes from head coach Frank Vogel who also added that he plans to have Bynum on the lineup on Saturday in the second night of the back-to-back against the Detroit Pistons.
While it may seem a bit odd and possibly concerning for Indiana to sit Bynum after three days of rest and when we’re getting closer to the postseason, but when you start to break it down, it actually makes much more sense.
For starters, Bynum is still not at full-strength. When you’re dealing with a player that has a history of injuries and re-injuries and bowling incidents gone awry like Bynum does, you don’t want to throw him into the fire and cross your fingers that he doesn’t get hurt again. That would be terrible player management and incredibly stupid.
Moreover, it’s really not that uncommon to see players sit out at least one game of a back-to-back when they aren’t fully healthy. However, the more common practice is to sit out the second game of the series. Basically the only difference here is that the Pacers are electing to sit out Bynum for the first game, which could largely have to do with their competition.
On Friday night, the Pacers take on the lowly 76ers who are in the midst of a near-20-game losing streak and haven’t shown many signs of a team that’s on the verge of breaking that streak. While the Pistons are hardly a contender, not having Bynum against the Sixers is a lot more appealing than the Pacers dealing with Detroit’s front line without Bynum.
There are still doubts to be had about Bynum and they are all warranted. He still needs to prove that he can have prolonged success with this team against high-level competition. As for now, though, this is the best move for the organization and his immediate future.